The Southern Startup Report is a twice-monthly, curated newsletter covering the latest tech startup happenings in the American Southeast. 

It is produced by LookFar, a New Orleans-based software development studio, and Club Discovery, a co-working space for innovators, entrepreneurs and technologists in the heart of New Orleans' Bywater neighborhood.
A new report ranks the U.S. cities with the most minority-owned startups, and 5 out of the top 15 are located in the Southeastern region:

#4 - Miami, FL
#6 - San Antonio, TX
#10 - Atlanta, GA
#12 - Dallas, TX
#13 - Houston, TX

(Another 5 out of the top 15 are in California.) The report, put together by Volusion, analyzed data acquired in 2017 by the U.S. Census Bureau Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs. h/t to Natalie Harms at InnovationMap in Houston for bringing the report to our attention. 

Out of hundreds of applicants, 5 companies were chosen to participate in Cincinnati, Ohio based accelerator program The Brandery. Three of those 5 hail from the Southeast: EVAmore (Nashville, TN) is a platform for booking professional entertainment for corporate and private events. Natural Nipple (Tampa, FL) is a breast to bottle feeding solution, and Vishion (Charlotte, NC) is a platform that helps interior designers and design lovers search home decor by color. The startup founders have relocated to Cincinnati for three months to grow their startups and get exposed to that city's startup ecosystem.
~ Mallory Whitfield,
Director of Marketing at LookFar, a New Orleans-based software development studio.

P.S. If you find our report useful, please consider sharing it with a friend or colleague who may not already know about it.
Southern Startup News:
October 10 - October 24

New Orleans, LA - Applications close next week for a new accelerator program focused on coastal construction and water management: ENERGYx is a collaboration of The Idea Village and Shell GameChanger. In partnership with DXC Technology, Delgado Community College has added several new technology courses, including IT Foundations, Computer Networking, Cybersecurity and AWS Cloud Foundations. Construction payment management provider Levelset has also announced the Levelset Sales Academy, an eight-week software sales training program for local New Orleans job seekers new to the technology industry. The company plans to hire 60 sales professionals through this program by the end of 2020 and is committed to bringing in at least 25-to-35 New Orleans locals. The New Orleans Business Alliance received a Bronze Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council for its InvestNOLA Initiative, a program that provides equitable growth opportunities for entrepreneurs of color.

Atlanta, GA - Quarterly pitch competition Atlanta Startup Battle recently named smart home startup Inirv the winner of a $100,000 investment from TechSquare Labs’ early-stage venture fund. Areu Bros. Studio, an Atlanta-based entertainment studio, has acquired THEA, a local video-streaming platform, while Alpharetta-based Centrinet Corporation, an IT, consulting and managed services firm, acquired Accordant Technology, a Tennessee-based provider of cloud and virtualization solutions. Mobile Labs, a leading provider of mobile device clouds to Global 2000 mobile developers and testers, was awarded the title of 2019 Best Tech Startup in Atlanta by Tech in Motion at the annual Timmy Awards ceremony earlier this month.

Austin, TX - There's a new unicorn in ATX as RigUp, an on-demand job marketplace for the energy industry, announced a new $300 million Series D funding round, bringing its valuation over a billion dollars. MassChallenge Texas recently awarded a total of $500,000 in equity-free funding to five startups, three of which are based in Texas: Mens Gold Boxx, teleCalm, Inc, and Olifant Medical. Digital media platform Austin Inno celebrated 50 of Austin's fastest-growing and most exciting startups at a recent event at Capital Factory. One of those honorees, New Knowledge has recently rebranded under a new name: Yonder.

Baton Rouge, LA - Four companies have been selected as finalists for the BREW 2019 High-stakes Pitch Competition, which is offering a $100,000 investment prize to the winning company at a live pitch event on Friday, November 15. The finalists are Baton Rouge-based lawn service app Block Lawncare, New Orleans-based accounting service Gilded, digital currency startup Moxey, and Tennessee-based Pass It Down, which helps create virtual storytelling programs for museums.

Birmingham, AL - Global startup accelerator Techstars announced plans to launch the Alabama EnergyTech Accelerator, a 13-week accelerator focused on startups addressing innovative electrical and utility solutions. Applications will open on January 6, 2020. Birmingham-based Daxko, which provides technology solutions to the health and wellness industry, has acquired TennisSource for an undisclosed sum. The University of Alabama is increasing its push to offer resources and support for innovators, recently renaming the Bama Technology Incubator to EDGE Labs and integrating it with their Alabama Entrepreneurship Institute. The 5 finalists that will square off at REV Birmingham's The Big Pitch 2019 on November 23 have been announced: Blueroot Co., Elysian Gardens, Encore Rouge, Relaxation Room, and Sidekicks. Mother & daughter founders of Mixtroz, Kerry Schrader and Ashlee Ammons, were recently featured by Entrepreneur Magazine among the 100 Most Powerful Women and "Female Entrepreneurs that are Reshaping the Business World."

Orlando, FL - The recent Synapse Orlando event brought over 1,200 founders, investors and startup enthusiasts together under one roof to discuss topics including blockchain, artificial intelligence and the impact of big tech. The event also featured the Pitch Madness competition, where Blue Halo Biomedical took the top prize. The University of Central Florida is launching innovation districts across Central Florida to stimulate startups.

Raleigh-Durham, NC - With the recent raise of a $100 million Series E round, Raleigh has a new unicorn: Pendo, a product management software startup. Eva Garland Consulting and the First Flight Venture Center have each been awarded $50K as part of the nationwide Growth Accelerator Fund competition. Durham fintech startup Zogo has landed 11 financial institutions as partners to distribute their app, and Durham-based Home Lending Pal, an online mortgage adviser, has been selected to join the new IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator. A fund established by Chapel Hill-based Morgan Creek Capital Management to specifically explore “blockchain opportunities” has raised $60.9 million from 11 investors. In spite of these recent big wins, some Silicon Valley execs warn that North Carolina’s political swings could threaten the Triangle’s growing tech hub.

Tampa, FL - The Tampa Bay Innovation Center announced the 7 companies that will make up the first cohort of their Entrepreneurship and Investment Challenge: Bulk Nano, Ehrenberg Industries, ENotaryLog, Expedite Legal, GIVVN, Rubix Solutions, and Verapy. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor recently shared plans for a new innovation task force that aims to make the local government become more effective with the help of startups and put the region on the map as an innovation hub. Tampa Bay Inno has announced their inaugural Inno on Fire list of 50 startups to watch in the region.

Recent Rounds
Atlanta, GA - Florence - $7.1M Series B

Atlanta, GA - SimpleShowing - $1M

Atlanta, GA - Verady - undisclosed

Austin, TX - Literati - $12M

Austin, TX - RigUp - $300M Series D

Austin, TX - Shipwell - $35M Series B

Charlotte, NC - AvidXchange - $130M Equity

Charlotte, NC - Ekos - $8M Series A

Durham, NC - 410 Medical - $8M Series A

Durham, NC - Leyline Renewable Capital - $150M

Durham, NC - Phitonex - $2M Seed

Houston, TX - Alice - undisclosed Series A

Orlando, FL - Sensatek Propulsion Technology - $2M

Raleigh, NC - Element451 - $1M Seed

Raleigh, NC - Pendo - $100M Series E

Raleigh, NC - SignalPath - $18M Series B

San Antonio, TX - Sendspark - $300K Pre-Seed

St. Petersburg, FL - CaseGlide - undisclosed

Tampa, FL - CoLabs - $6.2M

Tampa, FL - Immertec - $6M
Upcoming Deadlines
October 25 - New Orleans, LA - VILLAGEx Technology-Enabled Startup Accelerator Application Deadline

October 25 - Houston, TX - Apply to Pitch at the 6th Annual OHC 2019 Pitch Competition

October 31 - New Orleans, LA - ENERGYx 2020 Accelerator Application Deadline

October 31 - Birmingham, AL - Velocity Accelerator Program Application Deadline

November 1 - Houston, TX - Project Flourish Social Impact Startup Competition Application Deadline

November 15 - Austin, TX - SXSW Pitch 2020 Application Deadline

November 19 - New Orleans, LA - INNO 2020 Call for Speakers

November 22 - Dallas, TX - Impact Ventures’ Minority-Focused Technology Accelerator Application Deadline

December 15 - Tennessee - LaunchTN Virtual Entrepreneurship Program Registration Deadline

December 15 - Female Founders Competition Application Deadline

ongoing - Dallas, TX - Apply to Speak at Dallas Startup Week 2020
Upcoming Events
October 25 - Houston, TX - Climathon 2019: Hacking Solutions to Houston’s Climate Challenges

October 27 - Houston, TX - Equity & Inclusion in Entrepreneurship Workshop

October 28 - Houston, TX - Ladies who LaUNCH

October 29 - New Orleans, LA - Angelbeat New Orleans with Amazon & Microsoft Keynotes

October 29 - Houston, TX - Decoding Houston’s Startup Resources - Discover Acceleration, Incubation, and Connection to Funding

October 30 - New Orleans, LA - Lunch & Learn: Content Marketing for Science and Technology

October 30 - Tampa, FL - Cyber Security Symposium 2019

October 31-November 2 - Tampa, FL - Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization 2019 Global Conference and Pitch Competition

November 2 - Boca Raton, FL - Data Science and Analytics Conference

November 4 - Charlotte, NC - Strategy Sprint Workshop

November 4-7 - Jacksonville, FL - PS27 Ventures Leadership Week 

November 5-7 - Austin, TX - DeveloperWeek Austin

November 6-7 - Miami, FL - Southeastern BIO Investor & Partnering Forum

November 7 - New Orleans, LA - Sip and Solder! Electric Girls Fundraiser

November 7 - Miami, FL - Aminta Ventures x TheVentureCity Pitch Competition 2019

November 12 - New Orleans, LA - Next NOLA Breakfast Lighting Panel

November 12 - Austin, TX - Veterans in Tech Summit

November 12-13 - Jackson, MS - Accelerate: Conference on Technology Innovation

November 12-15 - Baton Rouge, LA - Baton Rouge Entrepreneurship Week 

November 13 - Austin, TX -
DivInc Demo Day 2019

November 13-14 - Plano, TX - Venturetech

November 13-15 - Lafayette, LA - Innovate South

November 14 - Lafayette, LA - Get Started Medical Pitch Competition

November 14 - West Palm Beach, FL - Palm Beach Entrepreneur Luncheon

November 15 - Baton Rouge, LA - NexusLA High-Stakes Pitch Competition

November 18-19 - Raleigh, NC - North Carolina Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Summit

November 20 - Houston, TX - Digital Fight Club

November 20 - Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay Inno's 50 on Fire Awards

November 20 - Tampa, FL - 7th Annual Building Entrepreneurship Around TampaBay (BEAT)

November 20-21 - Houston, TX - SPACECOM 2019 America's Commercial Space Conference and Exposition

November 21 - Atlanta, GA - Atlanta Startup Awards

November 21-22 - Raleigh, NC - Rural Assembly

November 21-22 - Charlotte, NC - Venture135 FinTech Conference

November 22-24 - Orlando, FL - Startup Weekend Orlando

November 23 - Birmingham, AL - The Big Pitch

December 4 - Greenville, SC - VentureSouth Summit, 2019 Venture Carolina Education Conference 

December 5 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL - ITPalooza 2019

December 5 - Miami, FL - SaaStr + 500 Startups Miami at Art Basel

December 5 - Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay Wave End of Year Event

LookFar: strategic software development for startups.

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